By Meredith Knight
Native Houstonian Elisa Pontone grew up with a love of dance, flow, and movement from the early age of five.
It was her “happy place.” As she continued her dance journey, even into college, she experienced various dance injuries. She also battled the stress and pressures of the dance world — both physically and mentally. Working out excessively on treadmills and StairMasters left Elisa feeling mentally numb. She was also abusing her body with bad nutrition and wellness habits.
When Elisa’s physical therapist recommended Pilates, everything changed for her. For the first time in a long time, she found her happy place again. “Pilates allows your body to immediately discover connections by communicating through your breath, focusing on engaging deeper muscles that your mind searches to find,” she said. Elisa loved it so much she immediately signed up for Pilates certification through Peak Pilates. That was 2011. Years later, she went from working 10-plus years in a corporate job, to taking a huge leap of faith and opening her first Pilates studio. That dream would never have become reality without the support of her husband and brother.
“We opened Club Pilates Memorial in 2015,” Elisa said. “Over the past five years, we’ve been tested to succeed with nonstop construction down Memorial Drive, the destruction from Hurricane Harvey, and now a pandemic. We’re still here today because our incredible members are like family, our entire staff is amazing and wants to encourage and empower our members, and this community is beyond awesome in showing support for one another. They’ve always been ready to jump in and help us with food drives, our effort for Dress for Success, and other nonprofit support.”
Elisa and her team took the same vibe to find their tribe in their second studio, Club Pilates Katy, and now their third, Club Pilates The Heights. “Everybody needs to know and take advantage of the benefits of Pilates,” Elisa said.
The pandemic meant a small hiccup in their plans, but Elisa and her team quickly shifted to an online format, giving members virtual versions of classes. “As soon as the pandemic hit and businesses were shut down, we started hearing from members,” Elisa said. “My big concern was for them. What would they do to stay active and healthy? We created a private Facebook page and recorded classes that could be accessed through the page. The amazing support of our members allowed us to continue paying our employees through it all.”
The studio was able to reopen, although members can still access their workout online. They’re operating at half capacity with all members six feet or more apart. “We’ve always cleaned and sanitized between classes but now we’re doing even more including a UV light in our HVAC system,” Elisa said.
Pilates is a dynamic, total-body workout that improves your physical and mental well-
being. Club Pilates utilizes state-of-the-art Pilates equipment and a unique class format taught by certified Pilates instructors to improve postural alignment, increase flexibility, and strengthen body and mind. The Memorial location was recently expanded adding a new wing and additional entrance with a front check-in, retail space, and popular private room where members can work toward personal goals and receive one-on-one attention.
“The one thing we do have control over, is our health,” Elisa said. “Keep your mind and body active and strong with Club Pilates Memorial, Katy, and The Heights.”
Benefits of Pilates
- Stronger Core
- Better Posture
- Better Balance
- Greater Mental Focus
- Improved Health
- More Flexible Body
- Less Back Pain
“If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong, then you are young.” – Joseph Pilates
Winner of Living Magazine Best Of Readers’ Choice awards 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.
14129 Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas 77079
10705 Spring Green Boulevard
Katy, Texas 77494
2401 North Shepherd Drive
Houston, Texas 77008